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Fortune and Fame, Bankruptcy and Pain

Two car companies. Similar goals. Different destinies. This is sounding more like the automotive version of "The Prince and the Pauper"...

by
Becky Graebner

Bio

July 18, 2013 - 1:30 pm
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The Delaware Fisker Plant. To take a line from Gimli in “Lord of the Rings,” “You could find more cheer in a graveyard.”

The automotive business is a wild ride; some companies are riding high while others continue to get knocked down.

On the downward spiral:

It’s been awhile since we talked about Fisker.  Unfortunately, they’re not up to much…

The electric car company continues to sink in the quicksand of unpaid loans and has become a permanent fixture at the Delaware taxpayer-funded buffet. It still has yet to pay off its $170 million federal loan from the Department of Energy, and Governor Jack Markell, the Delaware governor who enticed Fisker to move to DE, is now starting to feel the heat.

The car manufacturer moved to Delaware after the promise of a $21.5 million package of state taxpayer loans and grants. Currently, the Newport-area Fisker plant sits boarded up — all of its employees were laid off in the spring of last year. To make matters sound even worse, the state of Delaware continues to write checks for the plant’s utility bills. It sounds like the energy assistance program created for low-income Americans has been extended to money-sucking government projects…

My Opinion: No more taxpayer-funded loans to electric car companies unless their credit is better than “junk.”  There are too many risky, start-up companies for such a small market—hence the domino effect of bankruptcy in the alternative energy sector (Fisker, Solyndra, A123 Systems, etc.). Even after the federal analysts gave Fisker’s loan a “junk” credit rating, Delaware still assigned them a $20 million loan package. No more taxpayer dollars to unworthy, risky ventures.

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